Monday, September 28, 2015

Sept 22nd 2015 Theme: Autumn Leaves

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~~ Albert Camus

Welcome to the fourth meeting in September blog.

                    Jean was our toastmaster today.

The GAT(e) team comprised of: Grammarian – Jim, Ah Counter – Jung, Timer - Devi and General Evaluator – Amritha.

Andrew was our first speaker of the day. He completed his Speech #3 from the Competent Communicator Manual – Get to the Point titled “Luck”. The duration of his speech was 5-7 mins.

Through his speech, Andrew shed light on the kind of luck that favors all of us when we are well prepared. By using personal stories, he illustrated how well-prepared individuals in his life were able to gain triumph over tough life situations. He points out that by being well prepared, it is easy to take action when opportunities come along our way.

Naser was his evaluator. He praised Andrew for his well-presented speech with the suggestion of adding pauses and moving mindfully.

Naser was voted the best evaluator.

Our second speaker was Chizuko. She completed her
Speech #2 from the Competent Communicator Manual. The title of her speech “An interesting Difference”. Duration – 5 to 7 mins.

Through her speech, Chizuko highlighted the differences
between Japanese and American education system. Whereas in Japan, her middle schooler was a part of a big classroom which worked together as a team, after moving to US her middle schooler had to get adjusted to the college like routine in middle schools here.

Chizuko was voted the best speaker.

Kathy was her evaluator. She complimented Chizuko on
her well-prepared speech. As a suggestion, Kathy encouraged Chizuko to rely less on her notes as she gives more speeches in the future.

We had an unplanned table topics section. Jan was the Table Topics Master for the session.
Tobias answered the question “Which animal is the most beautiful?” His answer “Hawk” because a hawk can fly high, dive down and get its prey – even with a damaged wing.
Grace spoke about an old Chinese song which is her favorite. She shared with us how the song brings back her wonderful childhood memories each time she listens to it.

Our humorists Robert and Dave concluded the meeting with 3 funny jokes.

We had 20 members and 2 guests attend the meeting today.
Members:  Amritha, Andrew, Barb, Chizuko, Dan, Dave, Devi, Grace, Jan, Jean, Jim, Jung, Kathy, Linda, Lynne, Naser, Rance, Robert, Tobias, WooYun.

Guests: Ganesh M. and Marlon K.
Our active membership total currently is at 38.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amritha Imandi, Secretary
Public Speaking Northwest #9406

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sept 8th 2015: Theme: Humor

"Humor is, by far, the most significant activity of the brain."  ~~ Edward de Bono

Welcome to the second meeting in September blog.

Our toastmaster of the day was Amritha.

The GAT(e) team was:  Devi (sanative) as Grammarian , Chizuko as Ah- Counter, and Andrew as Timer.

Dan was our first speaker today. He completed his Speech #1 from the Competent Communicator Manual – Ice Breaker. The duration of his speech was 4-6 mins.
Through his speech, Dan told us how his past experiences have shaped his goals and ambitions.

Dan spent his childhood with his family in Spokane, WA.
While in college, he was awarded scholarship to play football pursuing a degree in extra sciences. This led him to become a physical fitness trainer giving him opportunities to work in the corporate world of physical fitness industry for a short duration. From there, he moved on to work for couple of years in a small business firm of the fitness industry. There he learnt to do a little bit of everything and the experience opened his eyes to how a small business operated.

With this experience in hand, he took the decision to start a gym teaming up with his brother to create a space where people feel welcomed and everyone is working comfortably towards a common goal of better health and fitness. Today Dan is the co-owner of Kutting Edge Fitness in Kirkland.

By joining our club, Dan wishes to improve his speaking skills which would one day enable him to share his stories with others as well as coach and mentor new coaches.
Jim was his evaluator. He was impressed with Dan’s well- structured Ice breaker that progressed steadily from his childhood to present. As a suggestion, Jim offered Dan to add variety in gestures in future speeches.

Jim was voted the best evaluator.

Our second speaker was Jessica. She completed her Speech #2 from the Competent Communicator Manual – Organize Your Speech. Her speech was titled "What we can learn from Chinese Environmentalism." The duration of her speech was 5-7 mins.

Having spent last summer in China studying, Jessica witnessed firsthand the detrimental effects of environmental pollution on China’s land, air and water bodies. She gave us statistics on how pollution damages the health of the Chinese population.

In an effort to make China a better place to live, the Chinese people have embraced few life changes that conserve the use of energy. Jessica shared with us 4 of these and encouraged each one of us to embrace these changes in our personal lives to make the earth a better place to live –

   1.  Use toilet paper efficiently.
   2.  Hang clothes on a clothes line and air dry them rather        than use the clothes dryer.
   3.  Eat more plant based foods and less meats thus reducing    deforestation and greenhouse gases.
   4.  Trade in and reuse electronics.

Jessica was voted the best speaker.

Naser was her evaluator. He congratulated Jessica on her strong start, giving us numbers and facts that reflected the reality of the situation strongly articulating her message. He gave kudos to her organizational skills and the call to action at the end. As a suggestion, he offered her to give out handouts to members putting in her research details.

Robert was our Table Topics Master. He led a fun and interactive table topics session bringing into use both visual and verbal communication. For the visual part, he requested 4 volunteers to make a sketch of the topics he had picked. Once the sketches were ready, members other than the artists could give the table topics speech.
The members who volunteered to make the sketch were Dave, Jean, Linda and Liz. The table topics speakers were Barb, Naser, Jennifer and Leroy.
Barb described the following picture that Jean sketched. She described a thin person riding through a long trail in a forest. The actual question was: A boy riding a bicycle in a park.

Naser spoke about the following picture that Liz sketched. To him, the sketch looked like a dog walking among a group of buildings. The actual question was: Walking a large dog on a city street.

Jennifer spoke about the picture that Dave drew. She thought it was a hot plate of spaghetti and meatballs along with an invisible person ready to eat. The actual question was: Bowl of hot spaghetti on a table.

Leroy described the picture that Linda drew. To him, the picture looked like a competition between uber and taxi – a person standing to get hold of one of the 2 cars. The actual question was: A woman hailing a taxi cab.

Naser was voted the best table topics speaker.
We had 22 members and 2 guests at our meeting.

Our members who attended were: Amritha, Andrew, Anisha, Barb, Chizuko, Dan, Dave, Devi, Diana, Jean, Jessica D., Jessica K., Jim, Julie, Jung, Linda, Liz, Lynne, Naser, Rance, Robert, Woo Yun.

Guests of the day were: Leroy C., Jennifer O'N.

Our active membership total currently is at 37.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amritha Imandi, Secretary
Public Speaking Northwest #9406


Monday, September 7, 2015

Sept 1st 2015: Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” ~~ Dr. Laurence J. Peter

Welcome to the first meeting in September blog.

Our toastmaster today was Barb.

                         Naser was the Contest Chair.

We had 2 timers – Jessica D and Jung. Jean and Lynne were the Sergeant-at-arms. Pauline and Dan collected and counted ballots.

There were no Grammarian, Ah-Counter and Evaluator roles.

Amritha was our first speech contestant today. The title of her speech was “The Poky Little Fellow”. Through her speech, Amritha shared with us how Oscar – their German shepherd puppy became an integral part of her family. The day they brought him home, little did she know about the challenges and excitement that were about to follow.

Oscar’s arrival fine-tuned her mothering skills. With two toddlers, she now had to learn to potty train a puppy. Eventually she became a pro at it. At 4 months of age, his curiosity almost cost him his life, after a year long therapy, thankfully Oscar recovered well.

Today, Oscar is 5 and ½ years old. He has become her personal life coach. Fearless, confident and bold – he strives to win over her all the time. She told us how she takes the patience test every day while on walks with Oscar which enormously improves her ability to handle stress. Living with Oscar, she has learnt to become a better disciplined person.

If anyone is looking for a life coach or is looking for ways to add variety to their life, Oscar can help you and bring the best out of you.

Our second speech contestant was Dan Dan. The topic of
her speech was “Share”. She shared with us 3 stories from her life with important messages. As a child, Dan Dan grew up in China with extended family around. Sharing everything among cousins was an integral part of their culture. After an incident of not able to get what she wanted (a ripe tomato), she soon learnt her lesson, “An opportunity that comes should be taken without second thought.”

Her second story- while in school, she once encouraged her classmates to boycott the school vaccination program. Eventually they all get caught. Being the leader, she was the first to be punished. Her second message “Do not share your punishments with others.”

In her third story, she told us growing up she ran away from her mother after doing some mischief. Eventually, when she got home, she would find herself in more trouble. She says “Never run away from your trouble as they bring you more trouble.”

Our third speech contestant was Kathy. The topic of her speech was “Office Coworkers.” She described and enacted in much detail few of the unique office coworkers many of us might deal with on a day to day basis.

In her special set of people belong those who find ways to skip work, while away office time and eventually develop an annoying personality whom everyone wants to ignore. There are some others who insist on parking their car in a particular spot and do not tolerate anyone else taking that luxury away from them. Some would be extra clean and tidy making sure not even a pen is misplaced. Then there are the oversharing people who talk about everything in their life. As she concludes her speech, she makes it a point that it is these variety of people that make our world round.

The Table Topics Contestants were Linda, Robert, Jim and Devi. All of them were asked to speak about one important change that happened in their life and what they learnt from it.
Linda shared with us that as a college graduate, she learnt to make better connections and ask for help. She has decided to go out of her way and share her interests with people. She has set a goal for herself to interview her role models – to talk, learn, reach out to them and write down their stories.

Robert spoke about the experience of sharing his home with his daughter-in-law and her 2 teenage kids. In order to welcome them, he had to make space in his home. This meant moving things. The challenge was to keep his things still visible so that he could see and use them. This incident though chaotic was a good learning experience for him.

Jim spoke about how the decision to move away from a
catholic seminary after spending 10 years led him to be a psychologist. Having made many friends, the decision was difficult since it was a choice between friendship and the fact that being a priest was not his calling. While making choices, Jim encourages us to pause, reflect and then make a choice.

Devi shared with us her experience of how she overcame her fear of speaking to boys. Devi was educated in a girls only school, and belonged to an orthodox household. As a result, she never spoke to boys. While in college, she was fearful of boys as she was advised by her mother not to talk to boys. Gradually she overcame her fear only to be advised by her professor by final year to talk less with boys.

Winner of the Humorous Speech contest is Amritha.
Winner of the Table Topics Contest is Jim.
Both of Amritha and Jim will represent our club in the area level contest scheduled to be held on Sept 24.

We had 22 members and 4 guests attend our meeting today.
Our members who attended included: Amritha, Andrew, Barb, Dan, Dan Dan, Dave, Devi, Diana, Grace, Jean, Jessica D., Jessica K., Jim, Julie, Jung, Kathy, Linda, Liz, Lynne, Naser, Pauline, Robert.
Our Guests were: Thenseena, Jann K., Jennifer O'N., WooYun C.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amritha Imandi, Secretary
Public Speaking Northwest #9406